Interview with Les Campbell

OK. Could you talk about anti-semitism? How much was anti-semitism, ah, anti-Jewish feeling, a part of what was happening in Ocean Hill-Brownsville?


I don't believe that anti-Jewish feeling was any part of what was happening in ohbv. Many of the persons who supported ohbv were Jews. There were Jews within McCoy's administration. There were Jews working in the schools. There were Jews who, ah, were consultants to the district. In other words, there was no issue of Jewish, ah, anti-semitism or Jewish work in the district that came up. What anti-semitism was, it was a means for the teachers' union to, d--d--to, ah, deflect criticism of their role from them to the community by using this question of anti-semitism. In other words, at the end of Ocean Hill-Brownsville, the teachers' union looked bad. They looked like the aggressors. They looked like the United States Army looked in Vietnam, you see. So they needed to change their image, and one of the ways that they sought to change their image was to bring up this issue of Ocean Hill-Brownsville, of anti-semitism, and say that, "This was the reason why they were against the district, because, ah, the changes that we were demanding were anti-Semitic." You see, and so therefore, this was a means that they used to rally their people and to mo--not make themselves look bad in the eyes of a lot of people. But, as far as I'm concerned, this was not an issue.